Some notes on animal cognition

Aquinas—unlike some others of his time, before his time, and even after his time—did not always underestimate the potency of non-human animals’ estimative capacity by reducing it to “instinct”: that is, to an inborn, unchanging, “pre-programmed” routine of how to deal with environmental factors.  As we know now, in an endeavor accelerated by the investigative …

Thoughts on Being Human [3] – Signs of Our Times

What are the signs of our times?  That is: what signifies our here-and-now moment?  Screaming politicians?  Angry mobs?  Memes?  The ubiquity of networked technologies?  It is always hard to tell, from within a moment, what signifies the intelligibility of that moment; understanding precisely where we are requires spending time to find points of reference.  Every …

Modernism, Ultramodernism, and Postmodernism

The terms "modernism" and "postmodernism" are very frequently abused.  As all terms of culture, they admit a wide variety of predications: were you to compare two things called "modern" or "postmodern" side-by-side, the connection may not be immediately evident, except that very probably they would both be ugly: regardless of whether they are architecture, sculpture, …